Coast Guard Tests Drawbridge Plan for Boaters and Trains

KCJones

A full-time bridge tender may soon be stationed at Jupiter’s Loxahatchee River drawbridge as the U.S. Coast Guard tests whether manning a similar span in Fort Lauderdale decreases boater backups caused by passing Florida East Coast Railway trains.

The experiment began last week at the New River Bridge where mariners can now call the bridge tender to find out if a train is on its way and whether they should reconsider their departure times.

Barry Dragon, director of the district bridge program for the 7th Coast Guard District, issued the proposal following hours of public meetings with anglers in the fall and a review of 3,000 comments bemoaning wait times at three railroad drawbridges, including those over the Loxahatchee, New and St. Lucie rivers.

The bridges remain in the up position, allowing boats to pass through, but lower when a train approaches. At 90 years old, boaters complain theLoxahatchee bridge…

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